HCM – Ultimate Software's Blog https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com Thoughts on Putting People First in the Workplace Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:49:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 What is the Best Way to Lead? https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/great-leadership/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/great-leadership/#respond Thu, 19 Oct 2017 12:48:40 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=1126 What are the traits of great leadership for the future of work? It’s a question I am often asked by audience members during my varied speaking engagements. It’s a great question, since leadership—like everything else in today’s blistering pace of change—must be dynamic. Leaders must evolve as employees do, to direct organizations that operate and […]

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leadershipWhat are the traits of great leadership for the future of work? It’s a question I am often asked by audience members during my varied speaking engagements. It’s a great question, since leadership—like everything else in today’s blistering pace of change—must be dynamic.

Leaders must evolve as employees do, to direct organizations that operate and are managed differently. I’m referring to the movement in many companies toward project-based teamwork involving both full-time and non-permanent employees, tasks performed on a mobile “anywhere” basis, and the positive trend toward employee inclusiveness, in which each person’s self-defined uniqueness is seen as the asset it is. (See my related post, Are You Ready for True Workforce Fluidity?) Certainly, this is not your grandfather’s business to lead.

Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, companies were often run with military precision. During World War II, 10 high-ranking management theorists were recruited by the U.S. Air Force to enhance operations. When the war ended, Ford Motor Company snapped them up. They inserted the military’s “org charts” into Ford’s structure, creating divisions, departments, and jobs based on a person’s specific expertise. This ensured work was appropriately doled out, supervised, and completed. Other companies soon incorporated similar structures across the industrialized world.

As one might imagine, leaders of these businesses were akin to military generals. They commanded the organization from the boardroom, rather than the war room. This structure was right (for the times) and proved its merit. American companies quickly became the best in the world. And then the Internet, smartphones, the cloud, cognitive computing, and the Internet of Things burgeoned to seriously change things—democratizing decision-making and communications.

So what is today’s definition of “great leadership”? To draw a clearer picture, I turned to the source of the last century’s business leadership model—the military. I asked Lieutenant General George Flynn, now retired, for his perspective on the subject.

Lt. Gen. Flynn enjoyed a distinguished career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development and Integration and the Commanding General of the Combat Development Command in Quantico, Virginia. He is an advisor to Ultimate Software and many other corporations, and is a brilliant resource on leadership strategy.

You may know Lt. Gen. Flynn as the inspiration for a book by the best-selling author Simon Sinek. Sinek had interviewed him to learn more about the Marine Corps’ style of leadership. He boiled it down to these three words—“Officers eat last.” Sinek was so taken with the response he named his book after it (Leaders Eat Last). I recently sat down with George to ask what he meant by his comment.

“It’s really pretty simple,” he said. “If you treat your team as the most important resource in your organization, they become committed to you and the purpose of the organization. It shows your respect and the fact that you care so much about them that they deserve only the best. And that includes eating first, beginning with the most junior officer and ending with the most senior officer.”

He added, “That’s the ‘cost of leadership,’ as I explained it to Simon.”

This leadership philosophy seems at odds with today’s corporate guidance. Few CEOs know the names of employees other than their direct reports. Many of them eat with other senior executives in a separate part of the company cafeteria and have large offices away from the rest of their employees. Certainly, this is not an “officers eat last” approach. Rather, it suggests rank—people separated based on their perceived value and contributions to the success of the organization. There is a shift happening in some companies where CEOs are forgoing offices for shared office space, and the impact is significant for employees. As George put it, “Whoever is leading must form trusted relationships with those being led.”

Our discussion moved on to today’s millennial workers. George commented that this generation of employees tends to demand more from its leaders. “They want to know the ‘why’ before they buy into the project,” he explained. “When they believe in the value of what needs to be done, they’re very giving of their time and effort. They’ll go the extra mile if they understand the purpose behind the tasks and believe in that purpose.”

Without this understanding, millennials (really all employees) are more likely to search for new employment. To keep them, leaders must ensure they have meaningful work that leads to the development of new skills. “Millennials need to be trained and empowered to take risks on behalf of the organization, to progress in their careers,” George said. How can today’s business leaders, particularly those at the helm of large, far-flung organizations, ensure full buy-in from the “troops”? George responded that there are specific times on any given day when a leader can demonstrate valued leadership. “We call them ‘defining moments,’” he said. “The moments differ, but examples include how the person makes a difficult decision or handles a mistake. Word of mouth quickly spreads to form an opinion about the leader.”

These opinions are the basis for following the leader. “In my experience, I’ve come across three levels of leadership,” said George. “The first is when people follow you because you’ve been given the authority to control them. The second is they follow you because they trust you and will, therefore, take risks for you. The third level is they follow you because they believe in you and your mission. At that level, they’ll make personal sacrifices for you. Down deep, all people want to be part of something bigger than themselves.”

I couldn’t agree more. When we feel we are part of something important led by a leader we believe in, work becomes much more than just work. It becomes part of our purpose and identity.

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Sweet Suite Success https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/sweet-suite-success/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/sweet-suite-success/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:13:47 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=186 The days of cobbling together point solutions to create your organization’s HCM platform are fading – fast. Technology choices today are being driven by business, IT and HR leaders who place a premium on engaging their people with a simple and compelling experience. Piecemeal systems generally fail to meet expectations, because the complexities of integration […]

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The days of cobbling together point solutions to create your organization’s HCM platform are fading – fast. Technology choices today are being driven by business, IT and HR leaders who place a premium on engaging their people with a simple and compelling experience. Piecemeal systems generally fail to meet expectations, because the complexities of integration and rationalizing different data structures leave buyers with the least common denominator functionally. This leads to challenges for everyone using them – HR, employees, and business leaders.

A recently published Gartner report, Market Guide for Human Capital Management Suite Applications (Dec, 2014), notes that “A key selling point of an HCM suite versus a heterogeneous environment of multiple point solutions is having an integrated set of capabilities managed by a single vendor. The reality of this ‘integrated suite,’ however, is often an aggregated set of acquired capabilities mixed with capabilities developed organically.”

So why does it matter if HR, Payroll, Benefits, Recruiting, Performance Management, etc., are developed natively as part of a holistic platform, versus acquired or offered through a partner? What value does an organically-built, unified HCM suite provide?  Our clients have experienced the following benefits:

  • Higher adoption and employee engagement, with a single user experience
  • Modern, more adaptable, and consistent user interface
  • Reduced integration costs
  • Accurate, global line of sight for payroll, HR and talent information
  • One source of the truth for employee details
  • Simpler exchange of data for reporting and integrations
  • Single sign on
  • Context retained when accessing data across modules
  • Comprehensive analytics and reporting across all areas of HR and Talent Management

In the report, Gartner found that “The market is experiencing a trend toward more HCM suite buying: combining talent management functionality with core HR on the same platform, as buyers look to reduce integration challenges and take advantage of easier, yet more in-depth, reporting and analytics across the suite.”

We have found that aggregated or loosely integrated suites can exacerbate data challenges. With more in-depth, comprehensive analytics and reporting you are better positioned to make those important, people-focused decisions that drive the success of your business.

Your people are also why the seamless user experience that comes with a unified HCM suite is so critical. A disjointed user experience that confuses or fails to engage a candidate or new hire can be disastrous and costly, because we know that those first few weeks have a dramatic impact on employee retention.

Ultimate Software developed our UltiPro HCM suite as a comprehensive HR platform, starting with payroll, benefits, and HR, and, over time extending our solution to include full recruiting, onboarding, talent and workforce management capabilities.  A 2014 survey showed that UltiPro buyers indicate that the holistic suite platform is one of the top reasons for selecting the solution.  The fact that UltiPro is 100% SaaS is also a significant buying factor.

Regardless of the solution you choose, in a time when employee loyalty can be fickle, ensuring you have a simple, consistent, and engaging solution to help your employees get the information they need when they need it is key to a successful HCM technology investment.

Note: Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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HR Technology Season! https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-technology-season/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/hr-technology-season/#respond Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:27:45 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=178 For those of us who live at least part of our lives in the world of HR technology, October conjures up images of pumpkins, apple cider, autumn leaves changing… and of course the HR Technology Conference & Expo. It’s always a highlight of the year and a great place to connect and reconnect with friends […]

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For those of us who live at least part of our lives in the world of HR technology, October conjures up images of pumpkins, apple cider, autumn leaves changing… and of course the HR Technology Conference & Expo. It’s always a highlight of the year and a great place to connect and reconnect with friends and colleagues across the vendor, partner, and customer communities!

The people and atmosphere make it a particularly exciting forum for exploring innovations across the industry! This year, Ultimate Software will be showcasing not only new products and partnerships, but we will be sharing our technology innovations and a completely new way to engage new hires in any organization!

HR Technology Season

We hope that you’ll join us for a few of the exciting activities planned for the conference. Ultimate was selected to be among only six “Awesome New Technologies for Established Vendors” that will be recognized in a general session on Thursday, October 9th, 1:30 pm. During the session, we’ll demonstrate how we’ve put the candidate and new hire at the center of the new UltiPro Recruiting and UltiPro Onboarding solutions. These solutions take a fresh, bold approach to hiring and onboarding with a highly engaging user experience, empowering your employees to unlock their potential from first interaction to productivity. These solutions are also completely mobile-ready with responsive design that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.

We’ll present a customer success story from Bloomin’ Brands – operator of well-known restaurants including Carrabba’s and Outback Steakhouse. Then we’ll give you a more extensive preview at the all-new UltiPro Onboarding solution including an interactive timeline, instant networking with social media, accelerated ways to create incentive, learning opportunities any more. Space is limited for these presentations, so please register at www.ultimatesoftware.com/OnboardingLook. Adam Rogers will also be on hand for a panel session discussing the current trends and future of HR Technology alongside other industry leaders.

To register for the HR Technology Conference, visit to www.hrtechconference.com/register and please follow #hrtechconf and @UltimateHCM for real-time updates.

 

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If You Have a Global Workforce, You Need a Global System https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/if-you-have-a-global-workforce-you-need-a-global-system/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/if-you-have-a-global-workforce-you-need-a-global-system/#respond Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:41:23 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=152 Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But how many times do business leaders talk about having a global customer base or a global reach but the reality is the company processes and systems are designed to accommodate the U.S. way of doing things. As human resources professionals, we realize that we’re managing a global workforce. There are […]

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Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? But how many times do business leaders talk about having a global customer base or a global reach but the reality is the company processes and systems are designed to accommodate the U.S. way of doing things.

As human resources professionals, we realize that we’re managing a global workforce. There are many things we do to recognize different cultures, languages, religions, etc. in the workplace. But I realized during Ultimate Software’s 2013 Connections Conference that we’re really not taking our efforts full circle if we don’t consider our systems as well.

Think about it. Given how dependent our businesses are on technology, how can we not think about making sure our technology solutions are a fit throughout our workforce. Having a system that feels right for one location of the company and is a work-around for the rest of the company sends a message. And not a good one.

On the surface, it might seem very transactional but it’s those transactions that show people the company cares. It’s the start of bringing the workforce together. To connecting employees and building engagement.

Now you might be saying to yourself that this would be a huge challenge. I heard during the session that in Germany, different religions have different tax rates. And in other countries, certain positions can have their address hidden for privacy. But Ivan Chaney, product strategist at Ultimate Software, shared a few pieces of information that really surprised me.

  • The United States has the most complex payroll and benefits processes. If that’s true, then there could be an advantage to adopting a Global HCM system.
  • The cost of managing global employees is 28% lower for organizations with Global HCM processes.

This made me realize it’s not the laws that should drive our decision making. It’s being able to consistently provide a high-level of service to our workforce. Because when we do, human resources is given the ability to keep the company compliant. Managers are able to focus on the operation and not paperwork. And the C-Suite can benefit from the data and analytics.

For a lot of very good reasons, smart companies are taking a global approach to their technology and data.

 

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5 Best Practices When Implementing a Technology Solution https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-best-practices-when-implementing-a-technology-solution/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/5-best-practices-when-implementing-a-technology-solution/#comments Wed, 27 Mar 2013 15:21:40 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=147 You’ve finally made the big decision. After what can seem like an eternity of creating requests for proposals, meeting software providers, posing detailed questions, and hosting internal meetings, the organization has chosen the technology solution that will take their business to the next level. The partnership has been created. Now it’s time to focus on […]

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You’ve finally made the big decision. After what can seem like an eternity of creating requests for proposals, meeting software providers, posing detailed questions, and hosting internal meetings, the organization has chosen the technology solution that will take their business to the next level. The partnership has been created.

Now it’s time to focus on implementation.

While the process of selecting a technology solution is important, the implementation phase is critical because it’s the most visible to stakeholders. Everyone will be watching to make sure what is supposed to happen…does actually happen. Lisa Shea, assistant director of human resources at Subway, shared two essential actions for any technology roll-out:

  1. Document both the before and after processes. Karen Sones at First Horizon shared how they documented their entire recruiting and onboarding processes prior to implementation. The flow charts were used to mark which steps would be conducted in-person and which would happen online. First Horizon saw the benefit in determining their needs versus their wants.
  2. Create opportunities to be supportive. Shea said she and her team found they had to change lots of passwords during the process. They also had a period of time when employees received both paper paychecks and online info to provide a smooth transition.
  3. Look for things that you can keep the same. We all know change is hard. Loren Pofahl and Joe Johnson from Orchard Supply Hardware talked about finding ways to keep a few things the same. For example, they customized their new software with the corporate colors and used their corporate lingo. The reason? It makes people feel like the system is theirs – not someone else’s that they’ve bought or rented.
  4. Develop a communication strategy. Shea realized that each internal group within Subway needed a different message because they viewed the benefits and the challenges of the new system differently. Start with your own team. Don’t be afraid to over communicate. One tip that Shea said was very well received were one-page “how to” guides for using the system. Employees had access to answers when they needed them.
  5. Solicit feedback. First Horizon sends a 30-day new hire survey to receive feedback. Sones suggested including a new hire page on your system so employees could go to one place for all their initial needs.

All three of these companies shared that proper planning during implementation created very real results. They shared outcomes such as decreases in headcount due to paper reduction and drops in new hire turnover as much as 50%. Rolling out a new technology solution is hard work. And it can have its challenging moments. With proper planning and a great team, it will go smoothly and yield the results you’re looking for.

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Never Underestimate the Power of Your HCM and Payroll Software https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/never-underestimate-the-power-of-your-hcm-and-payroll-software/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/never-underestimate-the-power-of-your-hcm-and-payroll-software/#respond Thu, 27 Dec 2012 09:14:24 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=188 As the payroll administrator at Pekin Insurance, UltiPro has fundamentally transformed the way I interact with our employees. With all their personal information at their fingertips, Ultimate Software has enabled us to revolutionize the way we do business with our internal customers—our employees. UltiPro is efficient. Uploading files to the Payroll Gateway for bonuses and […]

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As the payroll administrator at Pekin Insurance, UltiPro has fundamentally transformed the way I interact with our employees. With all their personal information at their fingertips, Ultimate Software has enabled us to revolutionize the way we do business with our internal customers—our employees.

UltiPro is efficient. Uploading files to the Payroll Gateway for bonuses and deductions has never been so streamlined and intuitive. Turnaround time is amazing: finishing payroll on Tuesday puts money in our employees’ accounts by Thursday.

UltiPro is helpful. In addition to the multiple help and learning aids embedded in the software, there is a Rapid Response Hotline that is always available for those crucial moments.

UltiPro is personal. We can always rely on our dedicated Account Manager, Ingrid, for a quick and knowledgeable response. The tax team has been dedicated to working out any issues that have occurred. Payroll reconciliations are completed efficiently due to the reporting available to me. When I need help, my dedicated Ultimate representatives are there for me.

When we made the decision to switch to UltiPro, I never could have imagined the immense difference it has made to my life on an everyday basis.

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Is it Globalization? https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/is-it-globalization/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/is-it-globalization/#respond Fri, 21 Sep 2012 07:12:16 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=132 Global… local… international… These words are becoming more and more prevalent in the world of human resources. Organizations of all sizes and complexities are operating in different countries, not only because they want to grow and extend their reach, but more often, because they want to survive. So, what do the above terms mean when […]

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Global… local… international… These words are becoming more and more prevalent in the world of human resources. Organizations of all sizes and complexities are operating in different countries, not only because they want to grow and extend their reach, but more often, because they want to survive. So, what do the above terms mean when linked to HCM systems? What are the differences between Globalization and Localisation?

These are just terms that we’ve popularized in the HR realm to make sense of complicated organizational perspectives. The fact of the matter is that it hardly matters, because the first element of any HCM system is the human being – the person.

There is a simpler perspective, and far more effective approach, and it’s what Ultimate does every day: putting people first. By starting with the individual and understanding who they are, where they live, their role in an organization and what they are doing – providing support for the person at work – we achieve two things very quickly. First, we design applications that are useful and relevant to the individual, providing the engagement that is the foundation for business application adoption. Second, we understand the information, processes and relationships that make sense for that person, based on the nature of their work, in what country they work, and with whom they work.

This requires a versatile HCM backbone that enables personalization. Using a smartphone analogy: Globalization means you will be able to use the same smartphone in many countries. When you visit another country, the phone will know it, will be context-aware, will adapt the appropriate time zone automatically, and will turn services on or off according to the country’s regulations. You will have the same user experience regardless of the country you are visiting, because your smartphone is adaptable.

HCM systems must put the person first, while also providing organizations with appropriate views of the people, teams, processes and information that make up their business locally, regionally and globally. Through those views come insight into individual and organizational performance, as well as the reporting required for smart growth and, of course, compliance.

The best globalization practices start with understanding people, roles and teams. With that understanding, as practitioners, we are well on the way to the types of local insight and global oversight our companies need as we grow worldwide.

 

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Integration Time https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/integration-time/ https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/integration-time/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2012 12:50:58 +0000 https://blog.ultimatesoftware.com/?p=116 The arrival of SaaS and Cloud computing has brought one of the most challenging issues in business software – integration – back to the forefront. For on-premise software deployments, the connection between systems has always been a gigantic hassle for IT. An upgrade to any part of the software stack could take out a major […]

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The arrival of SaaS and Cloud computing has brought one of the most challenging issues in business software – integration – back to the forefront. For on-premise software deployments, the connection between systems has always been a gigantic hassle for IT. An upgrade to any part of the software stack could take out a major system, like payroll, and send technicians on a frantic chase to track down the cause and the solution.

Ultimate started SaaS delivery of payroll and human capital management (HCM) in 2002. We had a lot of experience in integration and applied it to the new delivery model. It wasn’t easy, and there wasn’t a blueprint for how to deliver integrations as a service.

Fast forward to 2012, and we now support more than 8000 unique connections to Ultimate products for our more than 2300 customers. These include everything from health insurance carriers to on-premise systems in our customers’ datacenters.

And at this year’s Connections, Ultimate’s user conference, we talked about some important next steps in that effort.  Working in partnership with Informatica, the world leader in technology for systems connectivity, we’re building a next-generation carrier network. Our goal is to make it easier for organizations to connect with their service providers, manage and monitor those connections, and change them whenever they need to. Integration should be a business decision, not a technology decision.

Another great example of seamless connectivity is our new integration with Yammer. We’ve made it almost as simple as signing into a game on Facebook, but with appropriate controls for a business system. No IT work, no calls to a consultant, just a few clicks to authenticate and configure. Because connecting your work systems to your people systems should be just that simple, right?

I think so! Much more on tap too.

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